Tea party favorite Ted Cruz, frequently mentioned as a 2016 Republican candidate for president, is saying he will renounce his Canadian citizenship.
Cruz, a first-term U.S. senator from Texas, has released his birth certificate showing he was born in Canada. He provided a copy of the certificate first to The Dallas Morning News and then to The Associated Press.
His status is an issue, because only "natural born" U.S. citizens can be elected to the presidency.
Cruz, according to The AP, has long maintained he is a U.S. citizen at birth because his mother is American. Late on Aug. 19, the senator said he might hold dual citizenship but, if so, he would renounce his Canadian citizenship.
Right-wing Watch, a watchdog group founded by left-leaning People for the American Way, says Cruz' status presents a conundrum for conspiracy-minded birthers who for years have questioned Barack Obama's eligibility because they claim – without evidence – that the president was born abroad to an American mother and that he's orchestrated a massive cover-up.
The Congressional Research Service has said that someone in Cruz's situation is "most likely" eligible to serve in the White House, according to The Washington Post.
The Post also noted that foreign-born U.S. citizens have run for the presidency – including George Romney and John McCain – but they didn't win the election and thus the courts have not decided the question of "natural born."